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Posted: November 30, 2006
EU working paper: the economic development of nanotechnology
(Nanowerk News) The third publication in a series of European Commission staff working papers on nanotechnology research and development analyses the economic development of nanotechnology (The two predecessors were: "Some figures about nanotechnology R&D in Europe and
beyond", published in December 2005 and "Results of the informal collection of inputs for nanotechnology R&D in the field of (eco)toxicology", published in June 2006).
Nanotechnology has the ability to become the most promising technology advance for this century. It offers a huge potential of applications and economic benefits significantly contributing to the European economy. Enormous technological advances are being made in the worldwide race for progress.
Europe’s starting position for this interdisciplinary and knowledge-based technology is promising. But much must be done in order to convert Europe’s scientific and technological excellence into economic returns in the form of new products, production processes and technology-intensive firms.
In this working paper, the state of the art of nanotechnology is analysed by presenting available data on nanotechnology markets and market projections, on jobs, on companies and other organisations active in nanotechnology, on public and private funding, including Venture Capital funding, on patents, and on scientific publications.
The data have been collected from publicly available sources and will be cited accordingly. The author cannot take the full responsibility for their accuracy or trueness. Especially in the case of market data, which can only be estimates, the data differ very much depending on definition, source, methodology and purpose of collection and presentation.
The author sought to overcome this problem by not relying on a single source and by comparing different sources before selecting them for further analyses.
The purpose of the analyses is twofold: On the one hand, nanotechnology and its subareas will be analysed in order to present the state of the art, to identify most promising fields and to predict future developments. On the other hand, the analyses will shed a light on the contribution of nanotechnology to economic and social goals of the European Union such as competitiveness, economic growth and employment by focusing on Europe in comparison with its world competitors, mainly the United States, Japan and emerging nano-powers such as China, India and Russia.
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